Stiff as a board…

Amazing photo, right? Believe me, it’s even more amazing to be in the thick of the action. Throw in the faint hum of the tyres on the tarmac, diced up by the roar of the wind in your ears; add to it the flowing rhythm of the paceline, simmered with a splash of adrenaline, and boom! The result is beyond compare.

Well, the ecstasy was rather short-lived for me that day, owing to my spectacular six-foot shoulder-slide in a tangle of limbs, metal and embarrassment. I was embarrassed, yes. Hurt, yes. But not afraid. There’s something about the camaraderie of the road that keeps you from being afraid. Crashes happen! When they do, you merely scrape yourself off the road, shoot a sardonic glance at the strips of missing skin, gingerly probe the bruised ribs, grit your teeth, tell yourself to harden the f***k up and ride back 60 kilometers in a haze of pain. A new contusion announces itself every  bleeding hour, the following morning arrives with a fanfare of pops, groans and muttered oaths of “Never again!”. But what the hell! You get rolling the very next day, a little more careful, a lot wiser.That’s all there’s to it!

Quitting the sport is not really an option. There’s too much happiness out there.

Back to science-induced blogging hibernation. And however tough I may act now, I’m reluctant to race until I’ve submitted my thesis. That tetanus shot hurt worse than the crash!


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